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The Role of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva in Buddhist Practice by Prof. Imre Hamar
November 13, 2021 at 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm UTC+0
The Role of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva in Buddhist Practice
by Prof. Imre Hamar, Eötvös Loránd University
In Chinese Buddhist art, Samantabhadra, representing Buddhist practice, forms a sacred Trinity along with Mañjuśrī and Vairocana. This Trinity was inspired by the Buddhāvataṃsaka-sūtra, translated as Huayan jing華嚴經 into Chinese, and has been a popular object of worship up to the present. Samantabhadra is generally depicted as riding a six-tusked elephant; many examples of this image can be found in Dunhuang from the Tang period. Several chapters of the Huayan jing are closely associated with Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, but the most important text is the Ārya-samantabhadra-caryā-praṇidhāna-rāja 普賢菩薩行願讚 (mostly referred to as Bhadracarī), one of the most famous devotional texts in Mahāyāna Buddhism, which is attached to the end of the 40-fascicle Huayan jing translated by Prajñā. However, the visual appearance of Samantabhadra depicted in some sources is more elaborate and complex. One of the six apocryphal visualisation sūtras, the Samantabhadra visualisation sūtra 佛說觀普賢菩薩行法經, includes this complex image, which could originate from Central Asian meditation practice. In addition, this sūtra sheds light on the repentance ritual associated with Samantabhadra that probably became widespread in Southern China in the 5th century, and later was integrated into Chinese Buddhist practice. This lecture attempts to give a comprehensive understanding of the depiction of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva in Chinese Buddhist art and its role in Buddhist religious practice.
Registration for "The Role of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva in Buddhist Practice"
by Professor Imre Hamar
The Goodman Lectures
A series of online lectures by leading Buddhist studies scholars
The Goodman Lectures are organized in honor of long-time Khyentse Foundation friend and advisor Professor Steven D. Goodman (1945–2020), whose enduring vision to make academic talks available to people beyond the classroom inspired KF and our friends in academia to share their knowledge and insight with a more general audience.